PS Consultants - ideas & solutions

Like much else about personal computing that has shown promise over the past ten years, optical character recognition has enjoyed many false dawns with claims of competence that fall apart rapidly once outside perfect “demo” conditions, but in the last 12 months or so, I reckon it’s come of age and is now a perfectly viable business tool for all occasions.

The ABBYY fine reader software that comes bundled with (inter alia) the HP scanner/printer/fax/teasmade devices gives a glimpse of what you get if you pay for the full asking price for regular product. Like Fine Reader Professional. When I cast my mind back to some of the early OCR experiences (who here remembers the Omnireader?) it’s obvious that the OCR art has matured.

One new feature I particularly like is the ability to read and OCR PDF files – which appeals to my perverse sense of naughtiness when proving (again) to those dinosaur “media owners” who still kid themselves that they can attempt to preserve any copyright of anything that gets digitised, ever. The interface to MS Word is also very reliable – the layout isn’t perfect, but it’s getting there, and there will be precious few cases where it will be quicker to re-type than OCR anything.

And I’m additionally obliged to Abbyy for providing the leading contender for the silly name of the month award, with European CEO Jupp Stopetie; guaranteed to get red lined by any spell checker.  It’s a good job they don’t use names in Countdown anagram challenges…

It’s fast and it’s accurate – your mileage may vary, but I have yet to see anything better at any price, so read all about it at where a try/buy edition can be downloaded.